Recipes

White Chocolate Candy Cane Thumbprint Cookies

I love peppermint-flavoured baked goods and ice cream in the winter months. Growing up, our Christmas Eve tradition was to eat a bowl of candy cane ice cream while watching Bing Crosby’s White Christmas. These Candy Cane Thumbprint Cookies remind me of that tradition.

I wanted to share a list of a few holiday traditions I’m loving this season. Please also share your favourite Christmas or holiday tradition with me in the comments. I’d love to hear how you celebrate the season.

Christmas Traditions I Love

Advent Wreath: We have an Advent wreath similar to this one to help us countdown to Christmas and await the coming of Jesus. We use this book, reading one page a day until Christmas. Every day we light one candle and sing the hymn “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” together. Then my boys open a little tin and get a surprise candy. They ask me a million times a day if it’s time to advent together yet. 

Hot Chocolate Bar: This year for the first time, I put together a little hot chocolate bar on my counter with little mason jars filled with hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, mini candy canes, espresso powder (for the adults), cinnamon,  peppermint extract etc. It makes it convenient to make a cozy warming drink for my kids when they come home from skating or sledding. 

Christmas Brunch: Growing up, my mom served a big Christmas morning brunch instead of a big  dinner so we could have a relaxed day.   We always have a couple of delicious quiches which inspired me to create my  Broccoli Goat Cheese Quiche recipe here on the blog.  It would be perfect for Christmas brunch. (link quiche recipe) 

A New Tradition For Our Family:  Geoff came up with a new tradition for our family to adopt this year that I’m really excited about. Since we always give our boys new Lego sets, Geoff wants to set aside an evening near Christmas day to stay up late with our boys and build all their current Lego sets so that when they open their new set, their Lego is all prepared for a new addition. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Thumbprint Cookies

Do Thumbprint cookies need to be refrigerated?

No, this recipe does not require refrigeration of the dough before baking. You can choose to put the baked thumbprint cookies in the fridge or leave them in an airtight container on the counter.  I love how they taste when they’re cold out of the fridge.

Why do thumbprint cookies spread?

Thumbprint cookies may spread if the recipe doesn’t have enough flour in it.

Do thumbprint cookies freeze well?

Yes, for sure! These are perfect cookies to make ahead of time or to stock up in your freezer.   Pull them out when guests are coming over.

Why do thumbprint cookies crack?

White Chocolate Candy Cane Thumbprint cookies can crack as you press to indent them when the dough has dried out a bit or has begun to stiffen. To prevent this, I recommend making the indentation immediately after rolling each ball of dough. Press very gently. If it cracks slightly, I just reroll that ball. As it softens and warms up in my hands, I find it solves the problem. 

How to Make White Chocolate Candy Cane Thumbprint Cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium sized bowl, mix flour together with cocoa powder and salt until well combined.

In a separate medium-sized bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, one egg and vanilla extract.

Roll the dough into small 2 tsp sized balls and arrange on a prepared cookie sheet.   Place about 12 cookies per sheet.

Make a small imprint in the centre of the cookies with your thumb, back of a teaspoon or with the rounded end of a wooden spoon. Bake for 7-8 minutes.

When you have the last tray of cookies in the oven, begin to melt white chocolate over low heat in a small saucepan with the heavy cream. Once melted, stir in peppermint extract.


Once the cookies have cooled slightly, add a small dollop of the white chocolate ganache to the centre indentation made in the thumbprint cookies and sprinkle with a few pieces of crushed candy cane. Allow the ganache to cool and set in the cookie.  Enjoy! 

Tips for Making White Chocolate Candy Cane Thumbprint Cookies

  • I begin to make the ganache when the last tray of cookies are in the oven because you want to distribute the ganache between the cookies while it’s still slightly warm. Don’t allow it to set and cool in the saucepan.
  • I had trouble with my white chocolate ganache the first time I made these cookies. The white chocolate seized up because I added cold cream to already warm and melted chocolate. Rookie mistake!  After a moment of panic, I discovered that I could resolve the problem by adding boiling water 1 tsp at a time and stirring until the chocolate became smooth again. 
  • I discovered you can buy crushed candy canes at bulk stores much cheaper than whole candy canes.
  • This recipe calls for baking peppermint extract, not peppermint essential oil. 
  • When the cookies come out of the oven, sometimes a few of the cookies lose their defined indentation in the centre. I just press the centre gently with the end of a wooden spoon or similar kitchen tool to reinforce the indentation of the cookies while they’re still warm. Press carefully to prevent splitting the side of the cookie.

Kids Love to Help Bake Thumbprint Cookies 

Kids love to help make these thumbprint cookies!  The perfect time to invite them into your baking endeavour is when it’s time to press the indentations into the cookies and when you are sprinkling the crushed candy canes into the centre.. If you have young children with shorter attention spans, I have found that it works well to invite them to join you for one small part of the baking process. My boys feel a sense of accomplishment after completing a small step and seeing their creations go into the oven. Baking with children always requires a little planning and a lot of patience. It also makes a bigger mess but it really is worth it. This is the perfect recipe to make with your children.

More Recipes to Enjoy Around the Table

Celebrate the holiday season to the full with these delightful cookies!  Gluten-free Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies are soft, fudgy and festive. Expect rich chocolate and strong peppermint flavours with every bite.

You can use a Stovetop Moka pot to make a simple latté at home!
Learn how to use a Moka pot and a simple Moka pot latté recipe in this blog post.

The stovetop Moka pot lets you bring the café home! This simple latté recipe uses kitchen tools you probably already have. It’s warming, cozy and tastes of good espresso.

Cranberry Wild Rice Soup is like Christmas dinner in a bowl. It’s deliciously creamy, herby, and hearty.  It’s made with lots of vegetables, whole milk and cream but the special ingredient is small bites of sweet and tart dried cranberries.  It’s also the perfect way to use leftover turkey after Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Save Candy Cane Thumbprint Cookies to Pinterest

“If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it… Don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.”

– Mary Oliver

White Chocolate Candy Cane Thumbprint Cookies

White Chocolate Candy Cane Thumbprint Cookies

These cookies are small bites of white chocolatey goodness that are indented and filled with a chocolate peppermint, candy cane ganache. The combination of textures with the chewy cookie and the creamy ganache filling make these cookies special.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 48 cookies
Calories 88 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Unsalted butter softened
  • 2/3 cup Brown sugar tightly packed
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 1 tsp Peppermint extract
  • 2 1/3 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt

White Chocolate Ganache

  • 6 oz White chocolate
  • 1/4 cup Heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp Peppermint extract

To Top The Cookies

  • Crushed candy canes

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl, mix flour together with cocoa powder and salt until well combined.
  • In a separate medium sized bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, one egg and vanilla extract.
  • Roll the dough into small 2 tsp sized balls and arrange on a prepared cookie sheet. Place about 12 cookies per sheet.
  • Make a small imprint in the centre of the cookies with your thumb, back of a teaspoon or with the rounded end of a wooden spoon. Bake for 7-8 minutes.
  • When you have the last tray of cookies in the oven, begin to melt white chocolate over low heat in a small saucepan with the heavy cream. Once melted, stir in peppermint extract.
  • Once the cookies have cooled slightly, add a small dollop of the white chocolate ganache to the centre indentation made in the thumbprint cookies and sprinkle with a few pieces of crushed candy cane. Allow the ganache to cool and set in the cookie. Enjoy!
Keyword Chocolate, Chocolate cookies, christmas, healthy chocolate cookies, peppermint, Thumbprint Cookies

‘Til next time,

Christy

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Hi! I’m Christy, a happy wife and mother to three boys, a nutritionist, a food lover and a Canadian. Creating and experimenting in the kitchen is my idea of an afternoon well spent. To me, a clean kitchen is an empty canvas of possibility and that means my kitchen never stays clean for long. My dream is that one or more of the recipes I share here will inspire you, perhaps even becoming a cherished family favourite.

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